I have been dealing with a deviated septum for many years now and I am sick of all the problems this is causing me. I want to have surgery to help clear this up. How does rhinoplasty help patients with a deviated septum?
That is an excellent question. Many patients who seek improvement in the external appearance of their nose also report problems with breathing through their nose and usually this is due to their nasal septum being crooked or deviated. During rhinoplasty ( nose reshaping surgery), we can remove the crooked portion of the nasal septum and use that cartilage to help with the reshaping portion as well. In fact, the nasal septal cartilage which is removed in a septoplasty, is usually our first choice of material fro grafting in rhinoplasty. Examples of places where this cartilage can be used include the area between the nostrils, also called the columella, as well as the nasal tip and the bridge of the nose. It is important that your rhinoplasty surgeon understands and has experience with addressing breathing problems because without that understanding, you can actually create breathing problems in trying to make a nose smaller; the nose can look beautiful on the outside but be completely nonfunctional as far as the inside, with no ability to breathe through it. We spend a significant amount of time in revision rhinoplasty, when we are correcting unfavorable results from other surgeons, improving the airflow through the nose through a variety of techniques. In addition to septoplasty, reducing the turbinates will usually improve the airflow and in more severe cases, batten grafts or spreader grafts might be necessary to open up the nasal passageways.
One additional thing to note is that with septoplasty, you do not have to have packing placed in the nose, which patients do not like and which is typically the most uncomfortable part of the first post-operative week. Instead, we use a special suturing technique that takes the place of the packing and allows you to breathe through the nose much sooner after surgery, and which does not need to be removed, unlike packing.